TRIBUTES have poured in from across the Ballarat community for a 14-year-old boy, who was killed in a violent incident in Scarsdale.
Timothy O’Brien, known as Timmy, died at 5am after an alleged altercation on Saturday.
Two Ballarat men have been charged with his murder.
The news rocked the Scarsdale community and stunned police and those who knew Timmy best.
Ballarat Specialist School principal John Burt described young Timothy O’Brien as a “real joy” to teach.
Timmy, who had autism, tried hard at school and did everything to the best of his ability.
Mr Burt said the 14-year-old was just a great kid.
The school community was left “absolutely devastated” by his death.
“We are devastated by the tragic happening,” Mr Burt said.
“It makes one understand how precious life is.”
Mr Burt, who is also Ballarat mayor, said the school would talk with students about the tragedy, when needed, once school resumed on January 30.
Timmy was also remembered yesterday as a keen wrestling fan.
Melbourne-based New Age Wrestling manager Joe Stiteri said Timmy came to their last Ballarat show in June and had his photo taken with his favourite wrestler Sketch – a hearing impaired and autistic wrestler, a classic heel (bad guy) popular for his high-energy and signature move, the top-rope moonsault.
Sketch, wrestler Andrew Clissold, was so shocked by news of Timmy’s death that he asked the company to raise money to help his young fan’s family.
NAW plans to donate $1 from each ticket sold at their February 2 show in Ballarat at Ken Kay Stadium where the company would observe one minute’s silence.
Mr Stiteri said the company also hoped to work with Ballarat businesses to organise a raffle.
“Anything we can collect to help,” Mr Stiteri said.
“We want to do right by our fans.”
Homicide Squad Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Sol Solomon said it was a terrible tragedy to attend and difficult for police to deal with.
“It couldn’t get much worse than a 14-year-old boy killed, struck to the head with some object,” he said.
Timmy’s death notice read he was simply “so dearly loved, so sadly missed.”
He was the loved and loving son of Debra and the late Terence O’Brien; much loved brother of Linda and Nathan, Karen and Joe, Kerry Faye, Tammy, Jade and Kelly, nephew to Adam and “good mate” to Peter.
Facebook tributes and posts started to flood in yesterday.
A RIP Timmy O’Brien page attracted more than 730 likes in three hours yesterday afternoon while the Victims of Crime Australia page attracted messages from those who would miss Timmy’s contagious smile.
Mandy Boers wrote “I’m gonna miss you Timmy!” while Roxanne McPhan said “My thoughts are with u (sic) Deb at this sad time. Sending u my sympathy. RIP Timmy u always had a big smile.”